Hi and welcome to Healing Garden Light. My name is Donna and I am a licensed massage therapist. I have had my own massage therapy practice in the heart of Beachwood, Ohio since January, 2011. I consider myself a “healer” and I consider other massage therapists as “healers” because I firmly believe that massage therapists help clients’ bodies to heal THEMSELVES because of the various techniques that we use and apply.
I also believe that we all bring different gifts to the world of massage that the world needs. We are also one of the FEW professions where we get to directly touch other humans to help them to feel better, move better, and to enjoy a better quality of life.
So, when I think of massage therapists, I literally think of a HEALING GARDEN.
I would like to be a light in that garden…
Why I Created This Website
I created this website to help other “healers” to not only create the income of their dreams but the life of their dreams. I think if it even more important for us to have what it is we need from this life because we really do give so much of ourselves through our work to our clients…
There are many teachers who teach massage therapists how to get clients from all types of efforts, both online and off-line. My focus is ONLINE. Why? Because I just have a progressive mind. I am very in tune with the progression of technology and at times I tend to be ahead of things. For instance, I started 3 years ago setting most of my appointments via text. I had clients who were resistant, and some even called me UNPROFESSIONAL! For those folks, I simply picked up the phone and called them to set their appointment. I ignored their comments because I understood that texting is the thing of the now and the thing of the future.
I was right about the texting by the way. Now clients LOVE being able to set appointments via text. About 90% of our appointments are now set that way and many PREFER to do it that way because they are either at work or sitting in a meeting and they can set their appointment regardless. It is one of the things clients comment about on our Testimonial Sheets. But back to my point –
Since opening our office in 2011, I have ALWAYS asked clients how they found us. The last two years, if they were not referred to us, they Googled us, or they found us on Facebook or Instagram. In other words, clients, more than any other time in history, USE THEIR SMARTPHONES AND TABLETS AND LAPTOPS TO FIND EVERY SINGLE THING THEY ARE LOOKING FOR! See our FREE Google listing – if you type in “prenatal massage Beachwood” – this shows us on Page 1 of Google! If they want pizza, they pick up their phone. If they need a doctor they get on Google. If they want to find the closest fine restaurant – they are off to Google or Google Maps. So, as a massage therapist, you had better make sure you are there where they are looking for you…
“You cannot share your awesome gift with the world if the world cannot find you.” Donna Agrinsonis
Read on if you have time. You may see yourself in what I have written…
I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and all I learned as I grew up was that you go to school, then you get a job, you get married, raise a family, save for retirement, retire and you got to do fun things once you retired if you were not too sick or old to enjoy stuff. I, however, did things a bit backwards. I got married and had my kids at a young age. I finished high school with honors and started college only to quit because I was NOT focused and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Ok, I PARTIED in college for 3 semesters OK!? So, I flunked out. I would end up using my awesome typing skills to slide into the clerical field and eventually I gained skills in the administrative and secretarial fields then moved on into the legal field. I spent 14 years as a legal secretary/paralegal before moving to Cleveland, Ohio.
I was in my 30s when I attended paralegal school and in my 40s when I attended massage therapy school. Yup. Massage therapy school – a HUGE change huh? At some point, I knew I was done with traditional corporate America and I needed a DRASTIC change. I knew that I wanted to not only change my career, I wanted to CHANGE MY ENTIRE LIFE.
The thing is, I wanted to CREATE A LIFESTYLE. I wanted to create a life of financial and time freedom. I wanted to help people to be healthier and to manage stress in their lives. I also sustained a serious ankle injury that landed me in a wheelchair when I first started massage therapy school, which resulted in me experiencing a lot of joint and muscle pain pretty much every day. That has motivated me to learn all I can to help my clients to deal with and even eliminate chronic pain.
Opened My Own Practice
After I finished massage school, I purposely worked for a couple of high-end spas so that I could learn more about the spa environment from the ground up. I had already been getting regular massage in spas and massage offices for about 15 years so working in that environment helped me to further develop a love for all things spa. So, when it came time for me to open my own practice, I knew that I wanted my office to be spa-like.
I also worked through a couple of chiropractic offices and headed up the massage services at a prominent country club in the Beachwood, Ohio area for a few years (even after I opened my office). I gained a LOT of experience working on a ton of clients and learned a lot about the challenges of running my own massage therapy practice.
Our Online Reviews Sucked At First
A couple years into the practice, we had to repair our online reviews. You see, when we first opened our office, we did a Groupon campaign. It was a HUGE mistake for us to take that on. We ended up with a ridiculous number of clients (over 600!) and if it were not for the fact that I limited how many we sold, the situation would have proven to be catastrophic.
We had way too many clients for a very new practice and for the number of therapists working with us. We had not figured out a formal calendaring system, so we ended up with missed appointments and all kinds of calendar screw ups like 2 clients showing up at the same time! Yikes! As a result, we ended up on Yelp and a couple other places online with very “interesting” reviews.
Great Online Reviews Now
Since 2011, we have tried a whole list of ways to bring in clients. By far, the best way has been through our website and eventually great online reviews. I was able to turn the online reviews around. I also took the time to learn more about what Google likes and things like Google Business Page, Google Plus, etc. A couple years ago, we moved our old website over to the Word Press Platform and I eventually added a blog. We are not perfect but, all of our websites consistently sit on page 1 of Google and we are always somewhere towards the middle to top of the page. Most clients are Googling us and finding one of our websites and/or they see our ratings on Google Business Pages or Facebook. Over 80% are finding us “organically” (FREE) which is huge! It means we did not spend a dime to get those clients to call us.
Looking back, I wish I had created a second stream of income BEFORE I opened my own practice. Why? Because I lost out on a great opportunity to take over a perfectly-sized office directly across the hall from our office. Since 2011, we did grow and take on another office, but across the hall, the larger space was available for lease and I could not take it on. Why? Because, like many massage students coming out of school, I did not have a lot of capital just sitting around. I also did not have other streams of income that could have helped me to afford the larger office so I could grow into it.
It is always better to BE PREPARED when an opportunity arises than to not be prepared and have an opportunity pass you by…
Opportunity passed us by…
What if I had developed another stream of income FIRST? I would have had more money to pay for more training (even if out of town). I would not have had to struggle financially during leaner months when clients were not calling or when things came up like ridiculous vehicle repairs. I would have been able to lease the larger space across the hall. I would have been able to take time off to go get the training I needed both in business and to learn advanced massage techniques to grow our practice at a quicker pace.
The Original Vision
You see – back in 2008, when I sat in my cubicle at the last law firm I was to work at wondering what I wanted to do with the rest of my life – when I got quiet and looked inside – I knew I wanted to become a massage therapist. I had been getting massages for 15 years and I LOVED it and it was the one thing on my heart to do. I also knew it was the beginning of a journey.
What I envisioned was eventually having my own practice. I also saw myself having time freedom. I would be able to make my own hours and decide what days I would take off. I saw myself really helping clients to de-stress and get out of pain and I knew I would get a great satisfaction from that. However, I also wanted to be able to travel to nice places and experience massage and body treatments in various resorts and spas. I wanted to be able to attend advanced massage therapy training in various areas of the country or other parts of the world. I wanted to learn and bring back ideas for use in my own practice.
My vision required TIME and FINANCIAL FREEDOM.
The Mission of Healing Garden Light
Many of you probably have similar goals and visions. I am hoping that this website and the information that I provide will help you dream and plan and develop goals. In addition, I want to
- Show you how to create a supplemental income that does not require you to do something else physical
- Teach you how to be a Rock star with local marketing
- Help you understand why having a blog and website are crucial to you bringing in clients and ultimately in creating multiple streams of income (including passive income)
- Help you learn more about all the wonderful options for marketing online through things like Facebook, Google Adwords, Linked In, and email marketing
- Help you see why learning more about search engine optimization so you get organic or FREE traffic can greatly diminish your cost of acquiring a new client
- Show you why creating financial and time freedom will help you be a better massage therapist
However, my MAIN goal is to help the world to find you – SO YOU CAN SHARE YOUR UNIQUE HEALING GIFT WITH THE WORLD…